The contamination of scientific samples during curation and preparation has long been an area of concern. This is particularly an issue when samples are limited or difficult to obtain, such as in the case of Apollo lunar samples. A recent study looks at the compositional data for stainless steels typically used in processing Apollo samples. This includes tools used to transfer samples of lunar material to principal investigators. The data provides constraints for metal contamination for this particularly rare and limited set of samples.

The study, “The potential for metal contamination during Apollo lunar sample curation,” was published in the journal Meteoritics and Planetary Science. This work was supported by the Emerging Worlds Program. The NASA Astrobiology Program provides resources for Emerging Worlds and other Research and Analysis programs within the NASA Science Mission Directorate (SMD) that solicit proposals relevant to astrobiology research.